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What’s the Biblical Definition of Success?

What is success? Most people will tell you that it’s about making money and having a big house and a brand new car. Some think that graduating college with a degree and landing your dream job defines success. Still others say that success is about having good relationships, lots of friends and active social life – being popular or famous.

These are not bad aspirations, but as Christians, we need to discover what God says success is.

1. Build God’s Kingdom, Not Your Own

In Matthew 6, Jesus was encouraging people not to worry about what they would eat or wear or how they would survive; He taught that if they would put His Kingdom first, then He would take care of everything else:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” – Matthew 6:33

People can get wrapped up in their career or in attaining success and forget that Jesus commanded us to seek HIS Kingdom first.

There’s nothing wrong with doing our best in our career or in raising our family, but we must be careful not to focus on our own success and forget about what matters most: advancing God’s Kingdom on the earth by sharing His love and goodness with others.

It’s easy to get distracted by the drive to succeed in our own dreams and goals, but remember that Jesus is our example. In John 5:30 Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

More than anything, He came to fulfill the will of His Father, and we must do the same. That is true success.

2. Be Faithful With Your Gifts & Talents

Jesus told the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. It was about a lord who entrusted 3 servants with different amounts of money. Two of the servants worked to double the money, but the other servant was lazy and fearful; he hid the money instead of producing more.

Clearly, success is taking what God gives us and producing more. In fact, Jesus said in John 15:8, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” Whether you teach, sing, lead, craft, build, cook, play an instrument, clean, or take care of kids, God expects us to use what He’s given us to advance His Kingdom.

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” – John 15:8

We can’t let fear or laziness paralyze us from using our talents for His glory. Success is when Jesus tells us, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:13).

3. Make Disciples

The last words Jesus spoke before He went up to heaven after His resurrection were these:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” – Matthew 28:18-20

This was Jesus’s last command to His disciples. He was depending on them to spread the good news of His Kingdom and His resurrection to the world. This command from our Savior still stands today; we must make discipling others a priority because it’s important to Jesus.

There are so many people who don’t know about God’s love and goodness. God is depending on us to be His voice, His hands, and His feet to those who don’t know Him yet. Success is making disciples for Jesus.

To sum it up, success by the world’s standards is not the same as God’s idea of success. Search the scriptures for God’s success principles.

Remember, He says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

~ by Jennell Houts

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